The swearing-in ceremony of Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez as the new Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Cristóbal de la Habana, was held in the capital’s cathedral on Sunday, May 22.
The ceremony was attended by Salvador Valdés Mesa, member of the Party Political Bureau and a vice president of the Council of State; Caridad Diego, head of the Party Central Committee Office of Religious Affairs; Party and government authorities of the capital; and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Cuba.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega welcomed Archbishop Juan and accompanied him inside the cathedral, where after several rites the Holy Mass began.
Monsignor Polcari, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Havana, read the Apostolic Letters (papal bull) appointing Monsignor Juan García as the new Archbishop of Havana. In these, Pope Francis noted the intellectual and moral qualities of the new Archbishop, and his extensive experience in the pastoral mission.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega then invited the new Archbishop to occupy the corresponding chair and handed him the crozier (pastoral staff). A representation of priests, deacons, monks, nuns and laypersons of the Archdiocese offered gestures of obedience and acceptance.
During the homily, which revolved around the mystery of the Holy Trinity, Monsignor Juan had words of praise for the dedication and love with which Cardinal Jaime Ortega had undertaken his pastoral work in Havana. During the blessing, he thanked the Cuban authorities present and expressed his desire to continue strengthening the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Cuban state.
Archbishop Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez was born in Camagüey in 1948 and was ordained as a priest in 1972. His early years of ministry were spent in the current Diocese of Ciego de Ávila. On March 15, 1997, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Camagüey, and in June 2002, took over as second Archbishop of the same archdiocese. His episcopal motto is “Go and announce the Gospel.”